When listeners left Ruth at the end of Tender at the Bone, she was in Berkeley, California, working as a chef at The Swallow restaurant. Comfort Me with Apples picks up in 1978; Ruth is still living in a commune with her husband, Doug, but she's decided to put down her chef's toque and embark on a career as a restaurant critic. After a bumpy start (at the end of her very first on-the-job dinner, her credit card is unceremoniously rejected), she is soon visiting restaurants all over the world in search of a meal to write home about. The story that follows is an affectionate look at the apprenticeship - funny, daunting, always entertaining - of one of our best food writers.
Ruth Reichl's pursuit of good food and good company leads her to New York and China, France and Los Angeles. She encounters world-famous chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and the three-star aristocracy of French cuisine, and her accounts of these meetings range from the madcap to the sublime. From a transformative lunch with M.F.K. Fisher to a friendship with Alice Waters, Reichl lovingly re-creates all her memorable meals in such succulent detail that listeners will yearn for truffles in Provence and shrimp in Beijing.
Throughout it all, Reichl is unafraid, even eager, to poke holes in the pretensions of food critics, making each and every course a hilarious and instructive occasion for novices and experts alike. Reichl also shares the intimacies of her personal life - the joys and the heartbreaks behind the reviews - in a style so honest and warm that listeners will feel they are enjoying a cozy dining-table conversation with a friend.
©2001 Ruth Reichl; (P)2001 Random House AudioBooks, a Division of Random House, Inc.
"While all good food writers are humorous...few are so riotously, effortlessly entertaining as Ruth Reichl." (The New York Times Book Review)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I did all of Ruth's others. Very well written with love, Passion and wit. She has inspired me to heat up the kitchen after a long time away!
What a beautiful journey with Ruth Reichl. Unpretentious honesty woven with love and heartbreak and food....... I could not imagine a more complete book. I am enamored.
I've read Tender at the Bone and then listened to Garlic and Sapphires, so I found Comfort Me with Apples to be a great bridge between the two stories. I find Reichl's life to be fascinating as it's totally different than mine. Reichl's ability to retell the stories of her colorful life have me hoping there's another book to come! I know it can be hit or miss when an author decides to also be a narrator, but by the end of this book I felt like Reichl most likely chose to narrate because her this story is so personal and revelatory.
I read some of the reviews that said this book is depressing. I'd chose to describe it as painfully honest. Reichl doesn't sugar coat her choices or the challenges life has thrown her way. I find her honesty refreshing.
Photo is of my portuguese water dog, Sheila!
ruth reichl has an interesting, if somewhat depressed, view of life. i much preferred her later book, Garlic and Sapphires, which was very charming while being offbeat. unfortunately, for Comfort Me with Apples, the author narrated, which only compounded the depressive feel of the book. Skip Comfort Me with Apples, and go directly to Garlic and Sapphires, which is wonderfully written and narrated.
This is a great adventure of understanding how Ruth became who she is today. So happy I read Tender at the Bone first follow Comfort me with Apple with Garlic and Saphires.
Love the way Ms. Reichl writes about food. She describes the eating experience in such a tangible way, it is amazing. Wish the unabridged version was available.
I was very disappointed in this book. It was not as good as Tender to the Bone, which was wonderful! I may not buy any more of her books.
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